Dr. Rita Gangwani ( Retired Lieutenant ) is a much sought after Personality Development Mentor. Her initiative entails teaching people how to lead extraordinary lives through the power of living in the moment. She educates and inspires with a perfect blend of wisdom, razor-sharp insight and humor. Rita has been instrumental in helping countless people dramatically improve and enhance their social and business skills, performance, confidence and self-worth. Her Journey from a small town girl to a successful multifaceted trainer has inspired many.
A Multi-Gifted Motivational speaker, Author, Pageant coach, Etiquette consultant, Actress, Author, Healer and entrepreneur.
Her Authored book, The Beauty Pageants Greenroom endorsed with a forword by Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen is being appreciate world wide. The book has been awarded at “ THE FASHION BOOK OF THE YEAR-2017” and has received great reviews from top notch National media portals. Her pageant coaching has helped many students like Manushi Chillar, Koyal Rana etc. walk away with the crown of Miss India with ease.
Social Connect :
Instagram : @ritagangwani_official
Read an exclusive interview of Dr. Rita Gangwani with Fitnglam Magazine.
In Conversation with Mr. Sanjeev Jain, Editor In Chief, Fitnglam Magazine.
1. Who is behind the secret of your success – your family, your Army career, your thoughts or something else?
Of course all of them, but I majorly give credit to my critics who had written me off. I made a bridge by the stones hurled at me. They pushed me to my limit and beyond. They allowed me to block out all negativity in order to pursue my goals, helped me achieve my dreams. So thank you to my doubters, to my critics. I couldn’t have done it without you.
2. Take us through your proficient experience as a multi-faceted trainer? Is this something that you always wanted to do?
It’s been 34 years now! It all started after I took retirement from the Armed forces. As I entered the civilian world, I realized people lacked the finesse and etiquette which were so well grilled into us as cadets. So, just for fun, I started giving tips on personality development to my friends. They in turn started sending their kids and the journey started. I than upgraded Myself by doing a course in Advance PD and etiquette from an International finishing school, added a lot of variables and modalities like NLP, Dr Silvas ESP , Tarot, Handwriting analysis, Color Therapy, Tea cup Reading, Life Coaching etc to help instill confidence in my students. I am very proud to say that I have touched almost every kind of work profile- from Corporate to College students, fashion Industry, Pageantry, and Hotel Management, airlines, High end luxury cars and many more. Some of my students have gone and represented India internationally at various contests and Seminars.
3. What were the major challenges that you had to encounter? How did you overcome them?
For me there have been majorly two. One being a female and second being short heighted. Because of these, I am sometimes not seen as my Subject authority figure equaling that of fellow male trainers. Most men tower over me in height; this often causes people to look right past me as a capable lead trainer in a position of authority.
My advice is simple. If you are uncomfortable with something, voice your opinion. I have also learned throughout the years that speaking up is so important. I used to keep my mouth shut, even when I had an idea or I disagreed. Now, I will never let myself go unheard, and that confidence has been instrumental in building my credibility. I know what I deserve and I am not afraid to ask for it.
You have to toot your own horn. I used to think that my work product would speak for itself — if I was smart and hard-working, I would be rewarded by the universe. This is not the case. If you do something great but don’t tell anyone— you may as well have not done that amazing thing. Look for tactful ways to promote your work.
Most importantly, be an advocate and a sounding board for other women. If we’re going to overcome these challenges, we need to build each other up, celebrate our wins, and share our stories to empower one another.
4. Have you found it hard to break into a male-dominated industry?
Yes! In certain male dominated industries, it was difficult to convince the HR that I can deliver. The challenges ranged from less diverse employee and preferences being given based on stereotypes surrounding masculine criteria, to men not wanting to listen to what I had to offer simply because I am a female.
5. What are some solutions that you propose to ensure women empowerment?
I am extremely sorry to say that most of the women do not get empowered because of other women. I suggest that; try not to view other women as competitors. In some industries, the automatic feeling when we meet a new female colleague (especially if she’s good) is that we are threatened. Harboring this antagonistic feeling towards a colleague will do us absolutely no good.
Instead, focus on yourself. What you’ll learn is that some of these women we are jealous of may turn out to be our biggest advocates and supporters. have touched almost every kind of work profile- from Corporate to College students, fashion Industry, Pageantry, and Hotel Management, airlines, High end luxury cars and many more. Some of my students have gone and represented India internationally at various contests and Seminars.
6. How can we surpass gender stereotypes in the communication industry?
One thing which disturbs me and must be looked into is the Language we use while communicating. Language and gender have been tightly intertwined for decades, with gender-propelled terms like “gentleman’s agreement”, “middleman” and “drama queen” “ She’s a Bitch”… and these ties between language and gender are difficult to unpick. People can find themselves using these terms unconsciously for years so it’s really important to be aware of the negative connotations that this language carries
Together we can lead the cultural transformation by not using stereotypes and challenging language when others do. We can also discourage generalization and labeling, like “the lads” or “the ladies” by using courtesy titles and which is gender neutral.
Despite these challenges, there’s hope. But the solution won’t come from getting rid of the stereotypes inside our heads; it will come from changing the stereotypes and biases in our systems.
7. As an empowered woman, what is the unique perspective that you bring to the table in the industry every day?
My Unique Perspective is that, don’t be afraid to stand out, be fearless and don’t just lean forward, but plunge ahead. Playing it safe doesn’t lead to real success. Remember this quote from David J. Schwartz from The Magic of Thinking Big — “Action cures fear.” said Dr. Rita Gangwani.
8. You have been Author, Motivational speaker, Writer, Trainer, Beauty Pageant Coach and much more. Is there anything new you still want to be? Tell us something about your journey as a Coach.
Back in late seventies, people were not as much exposed nor felt the need to enhance their image.Academic qualification was the most important thing which was taken into consideration. However, as people started globetrotting and commerce hit the international market, it becomes crucial to get out of the shell and match up to the global standards in every possible way. This included personal packaging as well. During my training in the army, all officers had to go through a special course called OLQ (Officers like Quality), in which we were taught all kind of etiquette and social graces. I was very keen on starting an etiquette and personality enhancement program. So to fill this gap between the academic degree and image management, I decided to become a personality development coach. My journey goes back to 1984 where I started training people on personality development with just six students onboard, which has now spread worldwide with countless students who’ve been trained by me. I have now ventured into Beauty Pageant coaching and run an institute by the name of RIGAHAUS- RITA GANGWANI’S HOUSE OF PERSONALITY TRANSFORMATION, where I train Boys, girls, and kids to enter the pageant world. I am proud to say so many of my students have brought laurels to the country.
9. You are one of the first lady officers from Himachal Pradesh in the MNS Corps. Tell us more about it?
Getting into the army was the best thing that ever happened to me. As a civilian teenager, I had never learnt the meaning of routine, but in army, ‘D” is the biggest word – discipline, determination, dedication and drive. I was taught time management, life management, self management and of course emotion management along with my regular studies of MNS. It really wasn’t easy back there. The training was rigorous, so much so, there were many girls who left the forces midway. However I stuck on.”Success doesn’t really come easy, and to get into the Indian army is like cracking a tough nut. ‘Give- up’ is a word that doesn’t really exist. We were taught that, if one has to achieve what they want to in earnest; they have to ready themselves to take on the challenges that are going to be doled out. After all, difficulties only make one stronger and more accepting to the flip side of success. My hard work paid, as I stood first in All India Merit List during all three years of my training. It was not only the biggest achievement for me, but for the entire unit. Never in the history of the unit did someone do so well.
10. Tell us three basic tips for personality development ?
- Be original. Not even a perfect copy. Originals are always honored over duplicates
- Earn respect and don’t demand it. “walk the talk” by doing what you tell others to do and not having a double standard.
- Patience is an exercise of self-control that shows you can handle life when times get tough.
11. What are the main highlights of the best seller Pageant book “THE BEAUTY PAGEANTS GREENROOM” written by you?
The Beauty Pageant’s Greenroom is an ultimate Bible of grooming. The essence of the book is to provide the reader a plethora of life skills….everything they would like to know about enhancing their personality, polishing social etiquette, being articulate, perfecting their style of dressing… basically projecting an image that unanimously stands out in the crowd.
As the name suggests, the book guides a beauty pageant contestant, smoothly and swiftly through the entire process of entering a pageant right from filling up the form to winning the glittering tiara.
I have provided every aspect of grooming to the readers. The book is a gamut of the nuances of life skills for everyone who wishes to shine and glitter by grooming themselves just by holding a book and not having to go through the rigmarole of attending grooming workshops.
12. Madam, how do you balance being a mother, or your home and work? What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career?
Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management try to keep both my personal and professional life separate and stick to the time lines. Weekends are all for the family and I switch off my professional phone after 6 pm. On the other hand working from home is all about creating Team work. We all follow our set of duties diligently and have leant to give space to each other. It’s all about Balance. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices, I don’t think I will use the word sacrifice, but rename it as challenges. We are humans and life is a roller coaster the dips of going up and down happen at each stage and it’s how you face those challenges that mater.
13. What is your upcoming project? What purpose/problem will it solve?
My upcoming project is my book on INDIAN SANSKAARS- “TELL ME WHY”? The idea for such book came forth when was teaching at various col. A simple question like way do Indian women wear a Bindi used to get m hilarious and most ridiculous answers, Kid today are becoming western and are totally discounted from our Indian sanskars. My purpose is to give the scientific explanation of each Indian ritual custom and festivals and get them rooted back to our rich culture.
14. Who Inspired You and Why ?
My biggest inspiration is Late Rajmata Gayatri Devi She was Bold & Beautiful , Defied Convention & Lived Life On Her Own Terms. When I was young, I used to get fascinated by her persona and style. Life was more glamorous in the olden days, a lot has changed now. Elegant and graceful in her statement Chiffon saris , she was listed by Vogue as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Despite being born into a life of riches, she spoke up for the downtrodden and in her own little ways made a difference. A symbol of beauty, grace, and defiance, Rajmata is someone whose foot steps I am following.
15. What Are Some Traits You Think Great Leaders Possess ?
- Though there are plenty of traits a great leader should have, but I would like to bring your focus to three big ones I believe in,A great leader does not lead by forcing people to follow. Instead, they lead by example and practice what they preach.
- A great leader understands that it is the people they lead that will determine the success or failure of whatever business they are into. So, they nurture, guide and create more leaders in the pack.
- Great leaders are like parents who self-sacrifice in order to enhance the lives of others around them. They know that as a business owner, not only their family relies on them but also the families of those who work for them. Hence they leady with Empathy and compassion are always approachable to their employees.
16. What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made? Both Professionally & Personally.
Once I was assigned a task to motivate the employees of a major corporate who was downsizing and had given notice to a whole lot of people in the morning. When I walked in, they were very hostile, sad and agitated. It was a challenge for me to motivate them. I think I took a wrong decision by accepting that assignment as I was the one who faced their anger and as a result got demotivated myself!
Personally my worst decision has been to hire a full time maid at home. Initially it seemed fun but eventually I have got so dependent on her that I get paranoid if she is missing, Prior to her I was managing things fine on my own. I hate being dependent and that what has happened. It was a worse decision to hire a 24 hour maid I think a part timer can create a better balance in life. U are dependent yet independent.
17. Where will we find you on weekends?
You would find me at my Spiritual Guru’s ashram – Ananda Sangha, listening to discourses and chanting during the day. Evenings are dinner out with the family exploring various restaurants that have live music.
18. What do you do for a hobby?
I love creating handmade jeweler and flaunt it around. I keep experimenting with various mediums, wood, stones, terracotta, and paper. Besides that I love decorating my garden.
19. What is your ‘me-time’ like?
My me time is spent either singing karaoke songs or reading. I must have sung hundreds of songs on Star maker and semule app. Also. I love reading books and have more than 2000 books in my personal library.
20. A final message for our readers.
The wisest, most loving, and well-rounded people you have ever met are likely those who have been shattered by heartbreak and Failure. Yes, life creates the greatest humans by breaking them first. Their destruction into pieces allows them to be fine-tuned and reconstructed into a masterpiece. Truly, it’s the painstaking journey of falling apart and coming back together that fills their hearts and minds with a level of compassion, understanding, and deep loving wisdom that can’t possibly be acquired any other way. Life is too short to let fear make big decisions for you. He knows the water best who has waded through it. Failures make you stronger …. Don’t ever be afraid of being broken.
Interviewed by Mr. Sanjeev Jain, Editor In Chief, Fitnglam Magazine.
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